Death And High Society: Green-Wood Cemetery In Spring

Published May 23, 2015
Updated July 2, 2019

Class and social stature have been so historically important in New York “society” that the elite have even competed for a place to rot. In the words of architecture critic Paul Goldberger, “It is the ambition of the New Yorker to live upon the Fifth Avenue, to take his airings in the Park, and to sleep with his fathers in the Green-Wood.”

Located in a quiet corner of Brooklyn, it is Green-Wood Cemetery’s natural beauty that makes it such a prestigious place to decompose. By the early 1860s, Green-Wood Cemetery had already gained an international reputation for its grand physical appearance, and quickly became a popular tourist destination.

Some noteworthy permanent residents include Leonard Bernstein, Boss Tweed, Charles Ebbets, Jean-Michel Basquait, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Horace Greeley, Civil War general, baseball legends, politicians, artists, entertainers, and inventors.

Today, US culture can be accurately described as one that values youth and fears mortality. A few minutes in Green-Wood cemetery, however, and it seems that death is almost aspirational. Equipped with a camera, I explored the stunning cemetery. Here’s what I found:

To this day the 487-acre parcel attracts history buffs, bird watchers and nature lovers alike. This is what it looks like in the Spring–but try not to let it give you any ideas:

Green Wood Cemetery Kneeling Angel

Green Wood Cemetery Magnolia Tree

Angel NYC Skyline

Jesus On Cross

Cemetery Row

Angel Statue

Green Wood Cemetery Daisies

Green Wood Cemetery Jesus Cherries

Angel Statue

Angel Statue

Baby Ray

Jesus Figurines

Cherry Trees

Green Wood Cemetery Spring

Children's Cemetery

Angel Statue

Magnolia Tree

Cherry Trees Out Of Focus

American Flag Cemetery

Virgin Mary Baby Jesus

Beloved Mary

Our Maggie

Father Mother

Dear Sister


My Husband Tomb Stone

Mother Father Headstones

Our Brother

All That's Interesting
A New York-based publisher established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science to share stories that illuminate our world.
Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.